First and foremost, ZOMBIE TAG is a story about brothers. About the kind of love and friendship that can only exist within a family, and the special grief that comes when that bond is broken. Twelve-year-old Wil is a younger brother, and he knows about this grief. Not long ago, he lost his brother Graham. And he misses him. A lot.
Right now, his only solace is in Zombie Tag. Or, really, the friends with whom he plays this made-up game. Wil and Graham used to make up a lot of games, and Wil just knows that Graham would have loved Zombie Tag. All his friends love it, and they play it in secret after the parents of whomever is hosting the sleep-over have gone to bed. It involves spatulas, Post-It notes, and a “key.” But when it turns out that Anthony — Wil’s best friend — has some new secrets about zombies (learned from his father’s secret government job), Wil might have the opportunity to see his dead brother again after all. All he needs to do is find this mysterious bell, which Anthony confessed is somewhere in his house.
But, here’s the thing: the bell might bring back the dead, but it doesn’t make them who they were in life. When Wil finds this out the hard way, no spatula in the world can save him from his fate, and the choices ahead aren’t going to be easy.
ZOMBIE TAG is such a brave, lovely book. Lyrically written, with well-placed humor, this is sure to capture the hearts of tween audiences and their parents alike. Doubtlessly, Hannah Moskowitz‘s YA fans will enjoy ZOMBIE TAG as well — what it lacks in swear words it more than makes up for in charm. The book made this reader just a bit weepy, so here’s looking at you, Newbery Committee. Do you think we could get some Zombies a shiny sticker in the near future?